Lenovo IdeaPad S10-2 Available This Summer

May 12, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under netbooks

Or say the folks over at Lenovo. In any case, fans of the original Lenovo IdeaPad S10 netbook might be interested.

Courtesy of Lenovo

Courtesy of Lenovo

The S10-2 will come in two variants: The $349 one features a 89%-sized keyboard, an Atom N270 processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 160GB hard disk, an integrated 1.3 megapixel webcam, WiFi up to 802.11g, and a 6-cell battery, all running on Windows XP Home. The $399 variant has the same specs, but is 3G capable through an Ericsson transceiver. And yes, no Bluetooth is available on either build, if Lenovo’s publicity materials are correct.

Both variants will also feature a 10.1″ screen, a “multi-touch” touchpad, 3 USB 2.0 ports, and a 4-in-1 card reader. A most notable feature is VeriFace, which will supposedly recognize the user’s face as login credentials. Fingerprint readers are so 2008 indeed!

Somewhat uncharacteristic for Lenovo is the S-10 2’s availability in four colors: black, white, grey, and pink (the 3G version will only be available in black, and the pink looks more like lilac actually). Release of the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-2, according to the press release, is set for “this summer”.

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Asus: We Released Too Many Netbook Models!

May 4, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Misc. Gadgets, netbooks

Wow, Asus was really active last year! According to the Wall Street Journal, Asus released a new Eee model every six weeks. A little too much you might say? Asus chairman and founder, Jonney Shih agrees with you:

asus-eee-family

“We might have offered too many models because of our competitive engineering culture,” Mr. Shih said, adding that the company won’t repeat this mistake. This year, Asustek plans to release three new versions.

Aside from competitiveness, another reason cited for this rapid pace of release makes sense: Asus realized that customers weren’t really going for the original Eee’s relatively miniscule keyboard and lack of hard drive.

In any case, the WSJ story relates a classic tale. A small company strikes gold with a big innovation, then struggles to keep up as competitors with more clout start establishing themselves within the same market (Can anyone say “Internet Explorer”?). But Asus won’t go down fighting, and if Jonney Shih and co. continue displaying the inventiveness that led to the Eee, I don’t think Asus’ future in the market they created looks bad.

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Rumored Details on Upcoming Dell Minis

April 6, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Laptops, Rumors, netbooks

Interesting tidbits include the availability of a 250GB, Ubuntu, an internal TV tuner, and a 6-cell battery as options for Dell Mini Inspiron 10 this April 17. The 20th of the month will see 1024 x 600 become the standard resolution, the possibility of 2GB RAM, and the color red.

dell-mini-leaks-1Not sure if this is legit, but future plans for the Dell’s Mini Inspirons have allegedly been leaked.

Another thing to note is the internal question asking whether future Dell Minis should run on 1.86Ghz Atom processors or not. The additional brain power is a plus, but the $75 addition to the price is a minus, and may turn off buyers.

This leak (if true) is good news, because it’s yet another sign that Dell’s sticking to its promises for the Mini Inspiron 10. Reported leaks on the more full-sized Mini Inspiron 12 were also made available. Click on the thumbnails below to see larger-size versions of the documents purportedly proving the leak.

(images and source: NetbookNews.de)

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MSI Wind U115 Runs for 13 Hours Under 100% CPU Usage

March 13, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under netbooks

It’s official folks! At least, as official an informal battery test related through an enthusiast blog can be. The MSI Wind U115’s battery lasts more than 13 hours, with CPU usage at 100% for the whole time.

Then again, WiFi was kept off for the test, and maybe the screen blacked out automatically to save power (it’s hard to understand the source as it’s in German, but I’m assuming the tester kept the display at full power). In any case, this is the longest I’ve heard of any netbook—or portable computer for that matter—lasting on a single charge.

(image and source: eee-pc.de)

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OCZ Set to Release the Neutrino, a Customizable Netbook

March 5, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under netbooks

Many netbooks are fine the way they are, but what if you were able to pick your hard disk, RAM, and OS? That’s the concept driving OCZ’s new 10″ 1024 x 600 netbook, a boon for those who don’t want to pay for an OS license and opt for a freeware alternative, and those who’d like to pay a bit more for capability.

Stock units feature a 1.6Ghz Atom processor, VGA-out, one ExpressCard slot, 2 USB ports, plus a 2.5″ hard disk slot. Weight is a relatively wimpy-friendly 2.9 pounds, while everything runs on the 945GSE+ICH7M chipset.

No word yet on pricing and availability—and I’d like to know for sure if this setup can do WiFi, Bluetooth, and perhaps wireless broadband—but you can spend the time waiting salivating over the prospect of up to 2GB of memory and 250GB of hard disk capacity.

(Image by fudzilla.com)

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Psion Fights Back: “We Still Sell Our Netbook ® Pro”

February 28, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Trends, netbooks

Looks like the company is finally going on the PR offensive, asserting in a statement sent to jkontherun that they continue to sell their Netbook Pro product, even if manufacturing ceased a long time ago:

In 2006, Psion in fact had multi-million dollar sales of the Netbook ® Pro computer in both the US and the EU. The bulk of sales were (and continue to be) in the highly specialised supply chain logistics area – perhaps not the easiest thing for third parties to get visibility on, but nevertheless, real sales to real customers in the US. And those real sales to real customers in the US continue even to this day. Attached is a typical Netbook ® Pro sales flyer (not included here), so you can see that Psion really were (and are) branding this computer as a ‘Netbook’.

I can quite understand why people might have assumed that sales ceased a while back – it’s not as if the product has been in Best Buy. But those people simply had no access to Psion’s confidential sales information.

Now this is the kind of arguing Psion should doin public, to support its cold and technical legal maneuverings to reassert ownership over the term netbook (note the incessant use of the ® mark in their statement). Ultimately, it’s still an uphill battle for the company, thanks to its failure to vigorously protect its trademark .

It must seem frustrating to Psion that they—a company that primarily does B2B—have to bring their case to the court of public opinion. But unfortunately, that’s what it will take to steal the thunder from Dell and Intel.

(image from source)

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How Psion Gave Up Ownership of Netbook

February 25, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under netbooks

Google famously caved in to Psion a few weeks ago, agreeing that “netbook” is a copyrighted term that belongs to the hardware company. But other corporations like Dell and Intel, as well as grassroots campaigns like Save the Netbooks have insisted that “netbook” is already a generic term, unenforceable as a trademark. Read more

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New LG Netbook to Hit Europe by March

February 21, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under netbooks

The yet-unnamed netbook will feature built-in 3G connectivity, a 160GB hard drive, and integrated 1.3 megapixel webcam. All these run on Windows XP, backed by an Intel Atom 1.6Ghz processor and 1GB of RAM. Line-in and line-out, at least one USB port, and VGA out also seem to be part of the package.

Definitely not a portable gaming powerhouse, but netbooks were never about high-level framerates on-the-go anyway. And the use of XP makes this gadget a great performer for “low-intensity” tasks like surfing, presentations, typing out reports, and the like.

(image and source: shinyshiny.tv)

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Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Launch on the 26th; Pre-Orders Accepted

February 19, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Laptops, netbooks

Straight from Direct2Dell came the announcement. US shoppers can now pre-order the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 through QVC (here and here), and availability from Dell.com is set for February 26.

Six colors will be available, and the following standard specs are promised: Read more

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MSI Wind vs. iBook G4—Mac OS X Benchmarks

February 4, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Laptops, netbooks

So what happens when you pit two variants of the MSI Wind against a “late-2004″ iBook G4, with both running Mac OS X? Why, lots of benchmarks of course! Available at AppleDifferent: nifty bar graphs comparing the netbook’s speed to the old-generation laptop’s. The highlight? Proof that a 1.66Ghz 1GB RAM Wind starts up various apps and OS X itself significantly faster than a 1.33Ghz 768MB RAM iBook.

(Image from AppleDifferent)

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